• Action to make a difference

  • by Will Morris, Group Managing Director, Retail

    Today's announcement shows that SSE is putting its customers first. Freezing our prices until at least 2016 is the longest unconditional energy price commitment ever made. It's action that will make a real difference.

    Before deciding to freeze prices we carried out a survey to find out what consumers thought about energy bills. The answer was loud and clear: 81% per cent of people asked were worried about energy prices rising again in the next two years. And that fact is supported by a recent poll by ComRes which found that rising energy prices are one of the number one concerns for households.

    We listened and have acted to give all our customers peace of mind with a guarantee not to raise our standard prices until at least 2016. Sure, some other companies might have a few fixed price deals, but these come and go. This is for everyone. 

    This is a straightforward guarantee that SSE will not increase prices before 2016, regardless of what happens to global energy prices. There are several things that enable us to deliver this: we’re making cost efficiencies within our company, we’ll be making less profit from supplying energy, we’re buying ahead to safeguard against energy price shocks and the Government has listened to our call and is making some welcome changes to make its energy efficiency scheme more cost-effective.

    We understand that times are tough and household budgets are under strain. We believe this action, coming just days after we implemented a £38 reduction to the average bill, will make a real difference.

    But we don’t want to stop at today’s price freeze. We’d prefer to reduce bills again and to hold them as low as possible for as long as possible. And that is why we are calling for the cost of government schemes – to support good things like energy efficiency and low-carbon electricity – to come off energy bills altogether and be paid for through general taxation. That would allow us to take around £100 off bills, at next year’s figures. It would also ensure that people on the lowest incomes no longer pay for these schemes and those who can afford to, pay a little more.

    We’re not against the aims of these policies, which have been introduced by all the main parties; quite the reverse. But our way would be a far fairer way to pay for them.

    And what’s more, consumers agree. In the same survey we also asked whether these schemes should be paid for through taxation or through energy bills. 62% agreed with us that they should be paid for through taxation and only 17% disagreed.

    Today SSE has taken action but we also want to work with politicians from all parties on further actions to tackle the rising cost of supplying energy. We urge them to join us in taking action, and together we can make an even bigger difference for customers.

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